How to Help Your Kids Overcome Dental Anxiety
If your child does not give in to the idea of visiting a dentist willingly, then they must be having dental anxiety. Dental anxiety needs to be overcome before your child can ever be comfortable seeking dental care.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
It is an uneasiness and discomfort that arises due to the unsettlement of the mind and body regarding undergoing dental procedures. Ideally, dental anxiety builds up from phobias regarding dental treatments. The causes of dental anxiety differ from one patient to another, but the common ones are:
- The anticipation of pain – having been fed with lots of information about how painful procedures in dentistry can be.
- Bad past experiences – some people have dental anxiety due to unresolved traumas of previous dental experiences gone wrong.
- Being in pain – if your dental problem is already causing you a lot of pain, then your mind can begin to imagine how worse it could be once you seek treatment.
How to Treat Dental Anxiety?
Dentist in Ellicott City use two main approaches to overcome dental anxiety for their patients. The first one entails using local anesthesia to numb the mouth. Once the mouth is numb, you cannot feel any pain and discomfort during your dental procedure. Since most people have dental anxiety in anticipation of pain during their treatment, numbing your mouth significantly eases your body and mind.
The second approach involves using sedation dentistry. The idea is to employ regulated levels of sedatives to stimulate feelings of relaxation and comfort in your mind and body. The sedation methods used differ depending on the type of procedure you are to undergo, as well as the urgency for your treatment. Sedation works very well where you feel comfortable and relaxed when sitting at the dentist’s chair. Some levels of sedation can even make you sleep during your treatment, effectively treating dental anxiety.
Tips to Help Overcome Dental Anxiety
Other than medication, a children dentist near you will recommend different ways to help your child overcome anxiety and phobias connected to dental care treatments. Some of them are:
- Visit the dental office before treatment – the idea is to help your child familiarize themselves with the dental environment. Our children care unit at Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry is distinctively friendly for children. Other than friendly staff, we have colorful spaces with toys and other kid-friendly aspects that help children feel easy even in a treatment center.
- Practice dentistry at home – although children’s dentistry can only be properly executed in a dental facility, you can bring some dental care measures at home. Practicing dentistry at home does not require you to bring a dentist in your space or become a dental expert yourself. Instead, you can practice certain oral health habits like flossing and brushing teeth to reduce the novelty of dentistry to your child. The more involved your child becomes with their dental health, the easier it may be for them to allow another person to be involved.
- Use positive language – regarding dental health. Do not in any way reinforce the notions of pain or danger when talking about dental care services. You cannot frame a dental expert as a bad person in the eyes of your child, as this will build up their resistance toward seeking dental treatments. Instead, use language to help them understand the role of a dentist in improving their dental health.
- Encourage your child to ask questions – if your child is old enough to ask questions, let them. Allow your child to express their curiosity when they get to the dentist’s office. The more questions a children dentist can address, the more likely it is that your child will trust the dentist and be comfortable to proceed with dental treatments.
- Explain treatments and procedures to them – do not assume that your child is not wise enough or old enough to want to know about dental treatments. Although they may not quite understand the dental language, they can understand the processes. Let the dentist explain what they are about to do so that your child can rest assured that they are in safe hands. For instance, where sedation is involved, the dentist can explain why swallowing a pill or inhaling a gas is necessary for the treatment.